Nutrition

21 Fiber-Filled Foods to Add to Your Grocery List

8 min read
Most adults aren't getting enough dietary fiber. Add these 21 high-fiber foods to your grocery list, stat.
Most adults aren't getting enough dietary fiber. Add these 21 high-fiber foods to your grocery list, stat.

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Fiber plays a big role in helping us maintain digestive health. For one, fibrous foods can keep the stomach feeling fuller for longer, which might mean less unhealthy snacks in between meals. It’s key for digestive support, and helps keep things moving. And finally, fiber is the foundation for maintaining good gut health, which can be an important component of overall well-being, says Nichole Dandrea, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist.

The caveat? Many people aren’t getting enough fiber

Despite the very important role high-fiber foods play, the reality is most people aren't getting enough fiber content in their regular diets. "More than 90% of Americans do not consume enough dietary fiber," Dandrea says. "Most people get less than 15 grams a day when the minimum recommendations are 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams a day for men, based on the recommendation of 14 grams per 1,000 calories per day." (1,2)

The good news? It may be easier than you think to increase daily fiber intake. The key is—of course—incorporating more fiber-filled foods. Keep reading for a whopping list of 21 fiber-filled foods, some of which offer 20% (or more!) of the recommended daily value. In other words: Add these nutritious fiber-filled foods to your grocery list, stat.

21 high-fiber foods to add to your grocery list

1. Chia seeds

If there were a high-fiber foods award, chia seeds would be the MVP. Just one ounce of the tiny seeds contain 9.75 grams of fiber—that's almost 35% of the recommended daily value. "They're an excellent source of magnesium and selenium and a good source of calcium," Dandrea says. "Chia seeds also include omega 3 fatty acids, around 5 grams per 2 tablespoons." Plus, Dandrea adds that they're also a high-protein food, making them a staple in your kitchen for adding to smoothies or oatmeal, concocting chia seed pudding with your favorite plant-based milk, or to use in place of eggs for binding in baking recipes. (3)

2. Oats

There's nothing quite like a bowl of oatmeal first thing in the morning—and that’s especially true when it comes to the amount of fiber oats contain. (1 cup of oats offers more than 8 grams of fiber.) "Eating carbohydrates that are rich in soluble fiber [such as oats] can help support daily fiber intake needs." says Erin Kenney, MS, RD, LDN, HCP, a registered dietitian nutritionist. If your mornings are busy (or you’re just feeling lazy — we get it!), make some overnight oats at night by mixing oats with your favorite plant-based milk and popping them in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, add some fruit and granola as a topping, and breakfast is served. (3)

3. Raspberries

Raspberries provide an impressive 8 grams of fiber per cup. Joanna Foley, RD, CLT, a registered dietitian and health coach, also notes that raspberries are packed with antioxidants. Raspberries are also chock-full of vitamin C. "Just one cup provides about 35% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, which supports immune function," Kenney says. Have this high-fiber food as a snack, as a yogurt topping, or in a smoothie. (3)

4. Blackberries

If raspberries aren't your jam, blackberries are another high-fiber food option—clocking in at about 7.6 grams per cup. "Not only are blackberries high in fiber, but they're also among the highest fruits for providing antioxidants," says Erin Skinner, RDN, a functional medicine dietitian nutritionist. "They're also relatively low in carbohydrates, so can fit even in a low-glycemic-load diet." Enjoy blackberries just like any other berries—in smoothies, as an oatmeal topping, or as a side with eggs and avocado, Skinner says. (3)

5. Black beans

Like many legumes, black beans are a great high-fiber food staple to add to your weekly menu. Here's why: "Black beans are not only high in fiber, but they are also a good plant source of protein," she says. There are many ways you can enjoy black beans. To make them fun and flavorful, Kenney recommends making deconstructed taco bowls with black beans, quinoa, salsa, and avocado for a meal that's balanced and will keep you satiated for hours. (3)

6. Lentils

Another legume, lentils are both a high-fiber food and a high-protein food. One cup of cooked lentils features 15.6 grams of fiber, which equals 55.7% (!) of the recommended daily value. In addition, lentils contain magnesium, folate, manganese, and copper, Dandrea says. The best part? They're very versatile. Dandrea recommends throwing them in salads (we love this recipe!), making lentil veggie burgers, or whipping up a lentil curry dish. (3)

7. Mung beans

In addition to their fiber content (more than 15 grams per cup!), "mung beans are a great source of resistant starch, which can help to nourish the friendly bacteria in the gut," Kenney says. Not sure how to eat mung beans? Kenney suggests a coconut mung bean curry or throwing them into a vegetable stew. (3)

8. Green peas

"In addition to fiber, green peas also contain vitamins C, zinc, and other antioxidants," Kenney says. She recommends upping their fun factor by making herby lemon and pea pasta as a refreshing dinner. Or, toss them into your favorite white sauce pasta for added protein. (By the way, peas are a great source of plant-based protein, too—which is why our Essential Protein features pea protein.) (3)

9. Flax seeds

Flax seeds are a high-fiber food that isn’t to be overlooked—the little seeds really pack a nutritional punch. Just two tablespoons of flax seeds feature about 4.9 grams of fiber. Dandrea points out that flax seeds are also full of omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, and magnesium. They're also high in a compound called lignans, fiber-like compounds. And because it can be ground into flax meal, which is in a powder form, it’s is easy to incorporate into different things, such as sprinkled on top of yogurt, mixed into baked goods, or used as a binder in veggie burgers. (3)

10. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a fiber-filled food that, let’s face it—people either hate or love. If you’re on the “pro” side of this polarizing food, here's the good news: One cup of cooked brussels sprouts contains about 6 grams of fiber. And fiber isn't brussels sprouts’ only shining quality. "Brussels sprouts also provide B6, folate, carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin K," Dandrea says. In other words, add this fiber-filled food to your grocery list ASAP—if you’re a fan, that is. Dandrea suggests enjoying brussels sprouts roasted, shaved, tossed in a salad, or made into coleslaw. (3)

11. Avocado

If you're an avocado fan (who isn't?), you'll be happy to hear that they're also worthy of a spot on the fiber-filled foods list. One large avocado can contain upwards of 13 grams of fiber, depending on the size. Not only are avocados delicious on toast, in burrito bowls, or as a burger or salad topping, you also reap many other nutritional benefits. "Avocados provide vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, vitamins B5 and 6, and vitamin E," Dandrea says. "The fat in avocado is also important for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins E, K, and carotenoids—the plant version of vitamin A." (3)

12. Pears

Fun fact: Pears are actually a fiber superstar among fruits, Foley says, containing 7 grams of fiber per large pear. And Dandrea points out that pears contain soluble and insoluble fiber, which supports gut health and digestion. Pro tip: Pear's skin contains much of the nutrients, so be sure to eat it too, Dandrea says. (3)

13. Sweet Potato

"Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamins B5 and B6, copper, and manganese," Dandrea says. "They also provide carotenoids (the plant equivalent of vitamin A), which are important for maintaining skin and eye health." Sweet potato is also a versatile source of fiber. You can pop them in the oven and eat them as a healthy alternative to regular fries or cube them up and add to soups and stews to make them hearty. Dandrea suggests baking them and stuffing them with lentils and veggies for added flavor and nutrients or slicing them in half and using them as "toast" for avocado toast. (3)

14. Almonds

PSA: Nuts contain fiber, too—and almonds in particular are a nutritional powerhouse. (Almonds include healthy fats and provide antioxidant vitamin E along with protein and magnesium.) Stash some in a baggie for a snack on the or or crush them up and mix them into yogurt, oatmeal, or chia seed pudding for some texture and crunch. (3)

15. Broccoli

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that definitely deserves a spot on the list. In addition to boasting vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium, here’s a cool bonus: Broccoli contains 3.72 grams of protein per 1 cup of cooked pieces. To keep things interesting, Dandrea suggests pan roasting broccoli with healthy fat and seasoning it with your choice of herbs and spices along with salt and pepper to your liking. For extra flavor, add in onion, garlic, and leeks to the sheet pan. (3)

16. Apples

Craving something sweet? Reach for an apple. "Apples are a surprisingly good source of fiber, but it's critical to include the peel," Skinner says. Enjoy them sliced up as a snack, or add grated apples to a crisp salad. (3)

17. Artichokes

"Artichokes are not only high in fiber, but they also contain prebiotic fibers," Skinner says. "These fibers feed healthy gut bacteria. These bacteria can, in turn, support digestive health." Not sure how to cook and eat artichokes? Skinner suggests steaming them and then peeling off each leaf and dipping them in a homemade sauce made of avocado oil, mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Then finish off by savoring the artichoke heart too. (3)

18. Green plantains

Skinner says plantains are high in prebiotic fiber (which feeds healthy gut bacteria), making them a good fiber-filled food to add to a regular diet. (BTW, the greener the plantain, the more fiber it contains). She also notes that the best way to eat them is cooked: Try slicing them up and pan-frying them in coconut oil and then topping them with cinnamon and coconut for a delicious dessert. (3)

19. Chickpeas

In addition to being a high-fiber food (boasting about 12.5 grams per cup), chickpeas also contain other essential nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, and potassium. They're also an easy way to squeeze in some extra plant-based protein into different dishes. Where chickpeas truly shine is in versatility. Foley notes that you can enjoy them in the form of hummus, in soups or spreads, or roasted as a snack. And better yet, chickpeas make an excellent substitute for gluten-containing grains like pasta and crusts. (3)

20. Quinoa

No fiber-filled foods list is complete without quinoa. "This is a whole grain that also has the benefit of being gluten-free," Foley says, making it an excellent option for those with a gluten allergy or sensitivity. "Quinoa is also a good source of plant-based protein and is higher in protein compared to some other whole grains." Aside from being high in fiber and protein, one thing that makes quinoa a star in the nutrition department is how well it pairs with many things. Add some fluffy, cooked quinoa to salads, on the side of fish and veggies, or in a burrito bowl with beans and avocado. (3)

21. Brown Rice

Next up on the list: Like quinoa, brown rice is a whole grain that offers both fiber and some plant-based protein. And it boasts the same kind of versatility, to boot. Pro tip: Enjoy rice with beans to make a “complete” protein meal. (It’s a food combo that offers a complete amino acid profile.) (3)

Resources:

  1. USDA, Agricultural Research Service, 2021. Usual Nutrient Intake from Food and Beverages, by Gender and Age, What We Eat in America, NHANES 2015-2018. 2021
  2. Quagliani, D., & Felt-Gunderson, P. (2016). Closing America's Fiber Intake Gap: Communication Strategies From a Food and Fiber Summit. American journal of lifestyle medicine, 11(1), 80–85.
  3. FoodData Central. (n.d.). USDA.

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